Grants and financial support for Conference - Museums Association

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Conference 2022

We know that attending conferences can be costly and some of our attendees may be looking for financial support to help fund their MA Conference experience this year.

We’ve compiled here some key professional development and training funding sources for museum workers and organisations across the UK to help with your search for funding.

If you know of any funding sources we’ve not included, please email with details so we can feature them on this page.

Across the UK

MA inclusive places – Our Benevolent Fund provides funded places to individual members who face barriers due to ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background, and gender identity or sexual orientation (LGBTQ). Successful applicants to attend Conference in Edinburgh will be able to claim up to £250 from the Benevolent Fund to support their travel and accommodation costs. Apply for an inclusive place at conference by 12 noon on 10 September, and details of how to claim will be provided after 10 September.

MA Benevolent Fund – We also use the Benevolent Fund to support our members’ professional development. Applications are considered on a monthly basis and funds are allocated for the advancement of education, training and development of our members.

Association of Independent Museums – AIM’s training grants are available to support its member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce. AIM members can apply for up to £300 to support training and development, including travel, fees and accommodation for conferences.


Museum Development North West – MDNW is offering two bursaries to first-time attendees from the north west of England for this year’s MA Conference. The bursary covers the cost of a conference place and recipients will need to fund their own travel and accommodation. Expressions of interest are due by 5.00pm on Friday 29 July.

Museum Development Yorkshire – MDY’s new CPD bursary scheme can be used to can be used to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours of people employed by or volunteering in museums that reflect the needs of regional museums. Applications are invited for up to £1,000, and the network specifically welcomes applications for funding to attend MA Conference 2022.

Midlands Federation of Museums and Art Galleries – MidFed offers specific conference bursaries for personal members of the Federation, who can apply for a bursary for their first attendance at any residential museum conference. The bursary can be for any amount up to the total advertised cost of the conference, including conference and residential fees (travel to the venue is not included).

Museum Development East Midlands – Accredited museums can apply for small grants of £250 to £1,500 per annum for small-scale projects where funding has been difficult to source, including training costs.

Museum Development South East – MDSE’s Skills Builder Grants offer up to £750 to help individuals or teams engage with training and other CPD activities. Individuals can be members of staff, volunteers, trustees or freelancers who work directly with an eligible museum. Grants can be used to support a range of activity, including attending conferences.


Museums Galleries Scotland – The MGS small grants fund allows accredited Scottish museums to apply for up to £15,000 towards support for a range of activities, including those which will build operational resilience, such as staff and volunteer training. Organisations that have been issued with a temporary accreditation number having gone through the formal “Working Towards Accreditation” eligibility process are eligible to apply for up to £5,000.


Welsh Federation of Museums and Art Galleries – The Federation can offer grants supporting attendance at conferences, with similar eligibility to their small grants programme. The grants are funded by Welsh government through the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division.

Arts Council of Wales – Wales’ arts council has a range of funding opportunities available for both individuals and organisations across the arts, heritage and museums.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Museums Council – NIMC offers Museums Connect grants of up to £2,000 for accredited museums to adapt existing or develop new ways to connect and re-engage with audiences. This can cover training for staff and volunteers. The deadline for this funding round is 4.00pm on Thursday 28 July.